Designer Anna Rice moved here three years ago, about the time she became interested in creating floral arrangements — aaaand, about the same time she realized the area was lacking a floral wholesaler.
Luckily for Anna, being bad at backyard maintenance has its perks — as does knowing the difference between regular ivy and poison ivy.
She starts with weeds.
“I often use weeding as a chance to find something to use,” she says. “For instance, you don’t want these little guys to stay in your grass — but if I very carefully pull the roots out, like I would for proper weeding, it’ll give me a nice, airy structure and I’ll get to use the roots to hold something I’ll use later.”
Then come the vines that try to strangle everything in Southern Pines, which add a little something to “swoopy” arrangements. Some greenery from an overgrown tree; white, flowering branches pruned from a roadside bush and some flowers from a basic grocery-store bouquet make something out of the ordinary.
For a larger bouquet, she sources flowers from a giant Camellia, and branches from an evergreen.
Don’t have a yard? Ask a neighbor to take some snippets from theirs. Don’t know them? Use compliments. Gardeners are usually more than happy to share the fruits of their labor.
In the summer, Anna suggests foraging on back roads near controlled burns, where nutrient-rich soil yields a healthy spread of wildflowers.
Now, go forth and create your own bouquet — and tag us in the results.